Former Prime Minister and volunteer fire fighter Tony Abbott is attempting to give more broadcast interviews in his remaining time as a backbencher than he did during his five year stint as party leader.
Since leaving office with a pledge that “There will be no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping”, Mr Abbott has proceeded to treat the Australian public to a deluge of media appearances.
This newfound preparedness to speak to the media cuts a sharp contrast with Mr Abbott’s record as Liberal Party leader where, in 2012/2013 he once went seven consecutive months without giving a single television or radio interview to the ABC.
Mr Abbott justified his Damascus road conversion by referring to his concern about the Liberal Party’s prospects at the next election. “Under previous arrangements, I felt that a Mr Shorten victory next year was a very unlikely eventuality. But since we succumbed to the Labor disease in September things are very different. Things are very different. So I’m now determined to do everything I can to help Malcolm get the result he deserves. And if that means giving a few extra interviews, that’s something I’m willing to do.”
Former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been critical of Mr Abbott’s high number of media appearances telling The (un) Australian “the best thing a former leader can generally do by his own party is to simply get out of the way. Give the new leader some space. That’s the basic approach I always took, it’s an approach Tony could think about too.”